Tag: security

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We recently celebrated the Jewish holiday of Purim, and it got me thinking again about synagogues, security, and the kinds of threats that we tend to worry about.  Let me explain. The story of Purim comes from the book Esther in the bible. It commemorates a horrible war in which the Jews were able to defend themselves against a decree by Haman that called for their annihilation. While I listened to the Megillah at my synagogue I was struck that the ancient story captures a recurring experience of baseless hatred that can only be fought by force. The moral of […] Read More

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Published: Yale Paprika In this interview, Miriam Dreiblatt speaks with founder of Studio ST Architects Esther Sperber on the challenges of designing religious spaces that promote serenity and connection while maintaining a high level of security. Sperber aims to design sacred spaces that foster a sense of community and belonging while being mindful of prayers and their individual spiritual needs. Sperber further discusses the impact of the concern and need for increased safety measures in synagogue architecture. These measures culturally informed and therefore take different forms, ranging from gates and police cars surrounding the site to hidden cameras and security […] Read More

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Published: Bloomberg Citylab Esther Sperber was interviewed for an article published in Bloomberg Citylab on securing religious spaces, written in response to the massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the recent rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes. Esther notes that there needs to be a balance between openness and security in religious spaces. The challenge for designers is how to draw people into spaces of prayer while maintaining a heightened level of security. Read the full article on Bloomberg Citylab Read More